Since I have a little bit of everything from ABC to The Zombies on my iPod, I hear a great mix of songs that helps motivate me to exercise. One of those songs, “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent,” played and the lyrics stuck in my mind:
“…525,600 minutes. 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights? In cups of coffee? In inches? In miles? In laughter? In strife? In 525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year in the life?”
As I worked out, I got to thinking about time and the 60 or so minutes I devote daily to exercise.
There are 10,080 minutes in a week. From this, I did the basic math. We spend roughly 3,360 minutes sleeping (based on an average of 8 hours sleep per night seven nights a week multiplied by 60 minutes in an hour) and approximately 2,400 minutes working (assuming we’re able to pry ourselves away from work to make it only 40 hours a week these days). That leaves approximately 4,320 minutes to live and catch up on life. In that time we have to do laundry, run to the store, pick up dry cleaning and simply try to recharge our batteries before the 10,080 minutes start all over again.
That got me thinking. How many of those precious minutes do we devote to ourselves? It seems in the past few years especially, my life and the lives of so many people I know hinge on our Outlook calendars; running from meeting to meeting and being scheduled within minutes of our lives. When are we going to make that time to say “enough” to Outlook calendars and devote time to ourselves so we become top priority, particularly in our weight-loss battles?
Think about it another way. Aren’t there days and even weeks when you feel you don’t have 2 of those 10,080 minutes to rub together? Those are the times that can cause people to slip into some unhealthy eating patterns – like grabbing cookies, hot dogs or pizza on the run for lunch because they’re fast, readily available and good “one-handed” foods.
The 60 minutes that usually start my every day are the most important to me. They get my creative engine going and set the tone for my day. It’s time I make for me, myself and I, (which also just happens to be the name of another great motivational song, also on my iPod, this one by Beyonce). And it’s not just exercising. It’s giving ourselves time to do simple things to make us feel good about ourselves which, in turn, help inspire us to stay on track with eating better and exercising. I know that works for me. If I buy a new shirt I want to make sure I fit into it and look good wearing it.
As I exercise, I smile to myself. I smile because I’m making that time in my day to continue to lose and maintain my weight, to work on feeling better about myself as my day begins. I also smile because that 60 minutes makes me think of my mom, JoAnn, who was always proud of my success on this weight loss journey. I can hear her saying, "You're doing a good job, son. Keep it up."
And so I shall Mama. I love you and thank you.
No matter whether you workout at the beginning, middle or end of your busy days try and devote a least a few of those precious minutes to you because you deserve it. After all, as Beyonce sings, "Me, myself and I - that's all I got in the end..."
As we begin yet another 10,080 minutes, there have never been truer words spoken.